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If you went to school to learn how to protect Earth from invading aliens, there’s just the job opening for you at NASA.

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NASA is hiring a planetary protection officer, according to a recent job posting, and the pay is good: up to $187,000 per year.

According to the agency, a planetary protection officer keeps the planet in check, making sure humans don’t contaminate other planets, moons and objects in space. Also: The employee is essential in preventing alien microbes from spreading to Earth.


No joke, the job was made essential thanks to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

If you’re interested in applying but want to know more about the job, just ask Catharine Conley, who’s held down the post since 2014 and has been the only person in this role in NASA’s history.

Conley tells Business Insider: “The phrase that we use is, ‘Break the chain of contact with Mars.'”

Conley and her team help to establish the “equipment, protocols, and procedures to reduce such risk,” and now the job is up for grabs.

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But hold your horses. Since the position is being moved into another entity, Conley did not say whether she would be re-applying for the post.

And the only thing that might get someone this job is if they had previous experience in the same field, in which case Conley has the Right Stuff.

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